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12 May 2011, 16:24

Scala creator launches Scala company Typesafe

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Typesafe logo Martin Odersky, creator of the Scala language, is now co-founder and CEO of Typesafe, a company dedicated to delivering a full commercially supported application stack for Scala development: the Typesafe Stack. The Stack consists of the Java virtual machine hosted Scala programming language, Akka middleware, the Scala IDE for Eclipse, and build tools. The aim of the stack is to address modern multi-core and cloud-scale computing workloads with a single stack. Akka complements Scala by being an event-driven middleware architecture designed around the concept of Actors to provide non-blocking, scalable and fault-tolerant services and applications.

Odersky is co-founding the company with Jonas Bonér, creator of the Akka middleware, who takes the role of CTO, and Paul Phillips, leading contributor to the Scala compiler project. The company's advisory board includes father of Java, James Gosling; master of Java concurrency, Doug Lea; and Willy Zwaenepoel, professor and former Dean at Switzerland's École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). Scala began its life at EPFL in 2001 when Odersky designed it following on from his work on Generic Java. The first version of Scala was released in 2003.

Scala is a blend of object-oriented and functional languages which compiles to Java byte code and interoperates with Java code. This allows developers to use it alongside their existing Java infrastructure while gaining the benefits of Scala's extensible, statically typed language. Twitter, for example, adopted Scala as it scaled up to its current success and, earlier this year, the UK newspaper The Guardian talked about how it had brought Scala into its web application platform. Other Scala-using companies include LinkedIn, the NHS, Xerox, Siemens, TomTom, Sony, UBS and Foursquare. Earlier this year the EPFL's work on Scala for parallel computing received €2.3M of funding by the European Research Council.

The launch of Typesafe coincides with the release of Scala 2.9 which introduces parallel collections specifically designed to distribute processing work amongst numbers of a large number of cores. Scala 2.9 is available for download today. Akka 1.1 was also released today, and is available to download. Scala is licensed under the BSD licence while Akka is under the Apache 2.0 licence.


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